Leisure: Time of one's own, in
which one can do as one pleases.
The concept of leisure is often
opposed to that of work, which accordingly may be defined as time not of
one's own, in which one does as others please, in order to obtain money, food,
Leisure seems to be quite important in two senses: First, it is the proper
motive for work: to acquire enough to also have some time in which one can do as
one pleases; and second, it is one of the foundations of civilization and
science, since many of the products of these have been invented or discovered in
The reason for the first point is especially that what human beings like most
tends to be to do as they please when they please; the reason for the second
point is that human creativity seems to depend much on freedom of strain and
There is, especially in Western society, possibly because of the calvinist
work ethic, a rather unhealthy tendency to insist that man - and according to
modern academic feminists, woman also and
especially - lives to work, rather than that man works to live, in leisure.
And in any case, a society where few have leisure, or such leisure as they
have must be mostly spent on recuperating from work, seems to be in effect to
those many to be much like slavery, even if they are nominally free wage-earners.
"The end of labor is to obtain leisure." (Aristotle)